Friday, August 21, 2009

When is this card? 2008 Upper Deck Tim Lincecum #362

This Tim Lincecum card is easy to date. He's starting at home and there are ample matchups visible on the scoreboard. Here's the game in question, occurring on May 6th 2007.

Interesting notes on this:
  • Second baseman Ray Durham is visible.
  • The rightfielder, just slightly visible, is Randy Winn.
  • The All-Star logo from 2007 in San Francisco is visible.
  • This game was the 4th-worst start of Lincecum's career to date, as measured by game score. He went just 4.1 innings while giving up 5 earned runs, 5 hits, and 5 walks. The damage included homers by Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino.


Tim Lincecum talking to Milt Pappas:

Milt Pappas = Slap Pap, Tim!
Tim Lincecum = Nice cum, Milt!


Lincecum is having a historically excellent start to his career. Among pitchers with at least 400 IP over their first 3 seasons, Lincecum ranks in the top 10 for best winning percentage, and that comes for playing for a middling Giants team.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Poll: The best card of 1990 Upper Deck High # Series

Here it is...the final poll to determine the best card of this set, as well as the winner of the set.

I'm skeptical about how Oil Can Boyd won his semifinal. If you are the reader attached to one of these final 5 cards, you might want to encourage all your friends to hit up this post and vote for your card, otherwise I fear that Boyd is going to win. (And I think we can all agree that his card is actually the worst of these 5...)

When is this card? 2007 Upper Deck Albert Pujols #443

I can't be entirely sure about the date of this photo, but it's almost certainly from this game on June 23, 2006. That's the only time that Pujols faced Justin Verlander (the pictured pitcher) that year and it came in Detroit. In the top of the 5th of that game, Pujols doubled to deep right field and was thrown out, I assume either trying to advance to third base or oversliding at second.


Albert Pujols = Jabs polluters
Justin Verlander = Turns javelin red


Total bases over the first eight years of a career--Number 1: Phat Albert

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When is this card? 2007 Upper Deck David Dellucci #394

This one is easy to date. The top score is Oakland at San Francisco. Delluci played with the Phillies only in 2006. Dan Haren (#24) pitched just one game at the Giants that year (thanks to interleague play being so limited.) It was this game on June 24, 2006. The other game on the scoreboard is the Nationals (WAS) at the Orioles (BAL.)

Incidentally, the Jason Varitek card from the same set is from the same game, when Chris Coste was thrown out at home in the 9th inning.


David Delluci = Add lucid evil


David Dellucci = Civil clad dude


Ince 1969, Delluci has the fewest stolen bases in a season with at least 12 triples. That happened in his 1998 season with the Diamondbacks.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When is this card? 2007 Upper Deck Marcus Thames #114

This one was a little tough to figure out, mainly because even though this is a 2007 card, it turns out that the photo was from 2005. Thames himself would probably remember this himself since this looks like a pretty awesome catch. (At least, I assume he's about to catch the ball.)

My starting point for this card was the bottom right portion of the photo that features a game with a team starting with "H", which can only be "HOU" for the Astros. Roy Oswalt is #44 for them. The home team in that game starts with a letter that also has a leading vertical, and the name must take up less space than "HOU" since it starts further to the right. The only NL teams that fit this category are MIL, FLA, PIT, and PHI (and possibly LA if they used LA instead of LAD.)

So I looked through Roy Oswalt's starts, and then tried to match up to a #35 pitcher on one of those other teams. I found a 2006 game where he faced the Marlins' #35 Dontrelle Willis, but then I ran into a problem with the top part of the scoreboard. That game features either the Orioles ("BAL") or the Red Sox ("BOS") at home. On the day of that Oswalt/Willis game in 2006, there wasn't a #30 pitching for Baltimore or Boston.

So then I went back to 2005, and it was pretty easy to find the date: May 11th 2005. Hmm, but that's a Wednesday...unusual since the game featured on the Thames card is a day game. But the Tigers game that day (at the Rangers) was a day game, as was the Red Sox game.


Marcus Thames = Rams mustache = Muscat harems


At the moment, Thames has by far the fewest career at-bats of any player with 100+ career homers. Of course, that's a bogus stat since he just hit his 100th career homer. But, he also has the fewest at-bats of any player with 95 to 105 career homers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When is this card? 2009 Upper Deck Raul Ibanez #335

Here's another card we can date. Although there's very little into on the scoreboard in the background, it's pretty easy to determine that the matchups are the Rangers (TEX) hosting the White Sox (CHW) and the Athletics (OAK) hosting the Angels (LAA).

Based on the game start times, we can narrow the date down to July 13, 2008. The Mariners were visiting the Royals that day, meaning that the scoreboard would show games in Central Time. The LAA/Oakland game was scheduled for 1:08 PM, which is Pacific Time. That would be 3:08 CT, matching what we see on the scoreboard.

Ibanez fielded ground balls in the 1st inning, 6th inning, 7th inning, and 8th inning, not to mention other times he might have made such a pose (such as throwing the ball around the infield after a strikeout.)


Ruin ablaze


Ibanez is having a great 2009 to the surprise of many people. Those folks haven't been paying attention, though, because Ibanez is in the top 15 for OPS+ among outfielders with 4000 PAs from 2001 to 2008. That doesn't even include his awesome 2009.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When is this 2009 OPC card? #501 Orioles team checklist

Here's a nice photo of Camden Yards. That looks like an Angels player at first base. On the out-of-town scoreboard, we can easily see two different games of the Pirates at the Phillies.
Here's a close-up:

See the two PIT-PHI games on the right? We've got the following games as well: Reds at Cubs, Dodgers and Rockies, Braves at Marlins, Padres at Astros, Rangers at Rays, Mariners at Twins, and a few other ones that I can't quite read.

Check out this list of the Phillies-Pirates games from the last bunch of years. They played a double-header in 2004 and one earlier than that in 2001. Surely the photo couldn't be so old? But in fact, it is from 2001. May 23, 2001 is the date of this game, as it's the only one that has all the right matchups.

The Orioles did host the Angels that day.

So, this is an 8-year-old photo on a 2009 baseball card. Wow. I wonder how old the other team stadium photos are? (Unfortunately, most of the others cannot be dated in this fashion.)

But here's one cool thing. Guess who that first base coach is? It's #33 Eddie Murray. Bonus Hall of Famer card! The Angels' first baseman that day was--guess who?--Wally Joyner. I bet you didn't think you'd be seeing Wally Joyner on a 2009 baseball card, but there he is. The rightfielder, also visible in the photo, is another retired star: Tim Salmon.

Overall all, this card is totally bizarre and totally cool.


Baltimore Orioles = A toilsome broiler

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When is this 2009 OPC card? #371 Carlos Lee

First off, this is an interesting photo of Carlos Lee. While it's great to see him about to catch a fly ball, there are two problems: 1) it's a routine fly ball, making it less than totally exciting and 2) his glove is obscuring his face. If it were a more unusual catch, I could forgive the blocked face.

I plan on showing a series of the best and worst cards from this set coming up, and this will be among the worst cards.

Anyway, let's see if we can date the photo.

Here's what we know:

  • That's the left-field scoreboard at Minute Maid Park so this is an Astros home game.
  • Other games that day include the Padres visiting the Marlins, the Mets visiting the Diamondbacks, and the Cubs visiting the Cardinals.
  • The scoreboard at this stadium doesn't just show basic totals, though. It shows full linescores for each game, meaning that, for example, the Padres scored 1 run in the 2nd inning and 1 run in the 3rd inning of their game. This should make it pretty easy to identify the date.
Turns out that the Padres visited the Marlins for just one 3-game serious in 2008. By clicking on the 3 box scores, it's easy to figure out that the day in question was May 4th, 2008, based on this box score. We can also see the NYM/ARI and CHI/STL matchups from that day. Turns out that the Astros hosted the Brewers that day and won in the 12th inning.

Interestingly, Lee was taken out of this game after he made the last out in the 9th inning. I'm not sure why that would happen unless he had a minor injury of some sort. He played in the next series of games so he couldn't have gotten very badly injured, if at all. Checking out the box score, Lee had two outfield assists in the first two innings!

As for outs that Lee recorded in the game, he caught a Ryan Bruan fly ball in the 4th inning and a Prince Fielder fly ball in the 7th inning. This photo has got to be one of those two balls. With a game start time of 1:06 PM central, this photo was taken sometime roughly around 3:00 to 4:00 PM eastern on 5/4/2008.


Carlos Lee =

Carol's eel
Real close


Lee is often overlooked as being one of the best players in the game, but among guys with at least 4500 plate appearances since 2002, he's in the top 15 for OPS+.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When is this 2009 OPC card? #330 Jake Peavy

It's sweet to show pitchers doing something other than pitching and this is a nice photo of Peavy digging in as he approaches 3rd base. That ass probably belongs to 2008 Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman.

So, can we find the date for this card?

For starters, we know that it's a Padres home game since they're wearing white uniforms. We can also see that the Dodgers visited the Rockies that day, and either the Braves (ATL) or the Cardinals (STL) visited a team with a short abbreviation, probably the SF Giants. Plus to Nationals played at home.

This one was very difficult to figure out. Turns out that there are no 2008 games that fit all the above criteria. However, this game in 2007 fits just fine.

On that day (April 19, 2007) all of the following happened:
  • The Rockies (COL) hosted the Dodgers (LAD)
  • The Giants (SF) hosted the Cardinals (STL)
  • The Nationals (WSN) hosted the Phillies (PHI)
  • The Padres hosted the Diamondbacks
How, the one thing that doesn't quite fit is that the team visiting the Nationals seems to have only 2 letters in its team abbreviation (which the Phillies do not.) However, other than the Padres, the only other NL team that ever uses a 2-letter abbreviations is the Padres (SD) themselves and since they are the home team in the game featured in the photo, their score would not be shown on the out-of-town scoreboard. Furthermore, the Phillies beat the Nationals that day by the score of 4-2, which is the score shown in the photo.

Finally, in the Padres game, Peavy hit a triple in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Since it's somewhat rare for pitchers to be running between second and third, I think we can safely assume that this card is indeed from the 4/19/2007 game.

That game started at 12:36 PM (west coast time) so this photo was probably taken between 4:30 and 5:00 eastern time.

Incidentally, Glenn Hoffman was also third base coach in 2007, so I still think that's his ass.


Jake Peavy + Hoffman's ass = Pajamas off! Sky heavens!


Since 1901, only 22 times has a pitcher struck out at least 200 batters in a season but finished with an ERA+ below 100. Peavy did it in 2006, and is just 1 of 2 guys to do it in the last 12 seasons. Nolan Ryan did it 5 times and the vast majority of the pitchers who did it were very good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When is this 2009 OPC card? #470 Prince Fielder

Other blogs have already posted this card. I found it alarming because of just how large Fielder looks. That's number 12 Freddy Sanchez taking his lead.

So when was this photo taken?

Let's see. We need to start with 2008 games of the Brewers visiting the Pirates. Based on the team matchups visible on the scoreboard, we can easily narrow the game down to August 29, 30 or 31.

The August 29th game was a night game and the photo was clearly taken during the day. The August 30th game was also a night game, despite it coming on a Saturday.

So this photo was clearly taken on August 31st, 2008. But we can tell a little more, even. Sanchez got to first base only once in the game, walking to lead off the 4th against C. C. Sabathia. This game was part of Sabathia's excellent streak for the Brewers last season. Since the game started at 1:35 PM, this photo was probably taken sometime around 2:15-2:30 PM on the last day of August.


Brewers / Pirates = Wet raspberries


Over his Age 23 and Age 24 seasons, Fielder cracked the top 20 for most total bases. A few other recent players make the top 20, including Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, Nomar Garciaparra, Hanley Ramirez, and Troy Glaus.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What the heck??

Hubie Brooks is getting roundly trounced by Oil Can Boyd in semifinal #3. That's not right. If you haven't voted yet, please go over there and vote for Brooks.

Also let me take this opportunity to comment on the future of this blog. For the time being, I'm going to concentrate on the 2009 O-Pee-Chee set. I'll be posting a "When is this card?" post each day this week (Friday's is AWESOME!) and also we'll look at some of the best and worst photos in the set next week.

After that, I'm not sure what will happen. Things have been incredibly busy for me at both work and home lately although I expect that to settle down some. I was looking at getting my hands on one of those early 1990s Stadium Club sets that came in the Skydome model, but now I don't think I want to spend the cash needlessly. I may look for another set to write up--but if anybody has any ideas, or even a set you want to donate to the cause, just let me know.

When is this 2009 OPC card? #173 Adrian Beltre

There is a handful of 2009 O-Pee-Chee cards with photos that can be dated.

Let's start with an easy one, this Adrian Beltre card.

On the scoreboard in the background, we can see that the Angels were playing at the Tigers that day. Checking out the Angels' 2008 schedule, we see they played two series at Detroit. One was over April 25 to April 27 and the other was Sept 2 to Sept 4. We can also see in the photo background that the Yankees were visiting the Rays on this day. Over the April dates, though, the Yankees were at the Indians. However, the Rays did host the Yankees Sept 2, 3, and 4.

In the photo, the pitcher for the Angels was #20, which was Jon Garland. He pitched for the Angels on September 3rd. Zach Miner was the Tigers' starter in that game and he wore #31, jiving with what we see in the photo above. Lastly, the Rays' starter that day was Edwin Jackson, and he wore #36, also matching up with what we see in the photo.

So, clearly, this photo is from September 3rd, 2008.

On that day, the Mariners were visiting the Rangers and they lost 1-0. Beltre did manage 2 hits, though.


Adrian Beltre =

Radiant rebel
Ran liberated
Alert brained


I just wrote recently about Adrian Beltre over at the Blog where I pointed out how overrated he is and how bad his 2009 has been.

Tournament semifinal #5

I picked the sky blue background to match a couple of the cards. Nice!

Make sure you're a follower of this blog, and then vote below.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tournament semifinal #4

Vote below! Can anyone beat HOFer Carter? I doubt it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tournament semifinal #3

Semifinal #3

Follow the blog (if you're not already) then vote for the best card below. I myself can't see any reason for voting for any card other than Hubie Brooks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tournament semifinal #2

Here's semifinal #2. Remember--you must be a follower of this blog to vote, and you can vote for whichever card you this is best for any reason. Aside from the Fetters card (which is interesting for other reasons) these are some really nice photographs.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is Mark McGwire a Hall of Famer?

I'm curious about whether you think Mark McGwire is Hall of Famer, considering ONLY his stats. I don't know how to judge the steroids/PEDs issue yet.

Please vote in the poll below and feel free to add a comment.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tournament semifinal #1

So here we go with tournament semifinal #1. Each of these cards has been assigned to a reader. If you need a reminder, here is the list.

I don't have a lot to say about these players--I wrote everything I had to say on their original posts earlier on this blog.

There are just two rules for voting:

1) Please make sure you are a follower of this blog (see sidebar) before voting, otherwise your vote will not count.

2) Vote using whatever criteria you wish, such as best player, best photos, best-looking cards, nicest guy, etc. The poll is below.